SpectraCell Blog

NUTRIENT OF THE MONTH - Lipoic Acid

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Jan 20, 2017 @ 02:56 PM

broccoli.jpgWhen it comes to micronutrient name recognition, vitamins and minerals typically get the spotlight (think vitamin C, vitamin D, Magnesium). Less well known are antioxidants, the superstars when it comes to protection from oxidative stress and free radicals. Lipoic acid (AKA thioctic acid) is one such nutrient. This particular substance is unique in that it has antioxidant properties in both water and lipids (most antioxidants protect only one, but not the other). Its unique chemical structure makes it soluble in both, which is a physiologically important attribute. Fat-soluble nutrients protect cell membranes (which are made of fats), and water-soluble nutrients protect intracellular fluid. 

Another biologically important feature is its ability to regenerate (and therefore activate) other antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione, cysteine and coenzyme Q10 when they have been “used up.” It can bind to insulin receptors, and consequently enhances glucose uptake into muscles, making it useful in improving glucose tolerance in persons with Type 2 Diabetes. Lipoic Acid can also be effective in the treatment of certain diabetic complications such as peripheral neuropathy. Given its ability to protect against damage to fat-soluble cell structures (lipid peroxidation), it’s not surprising that this antioxidant may also help protect against the neuron injury often seen in Alzheimer’s patients. This powerful micronutrient’s impressive list of roles at the cellular level provides clear justification for its designation as a “supernutrient,” making it an effective therapy in a variety of conditions from cataracts to erectile dysfunction.

Interested in knowing how your antioxidant levels stack up? Get tested today!

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Topics: Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Antioxidants, Lipoic Acid, antioxidant status, Supernutrients

Micronutrients Can Help!

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, May 22, 2013 @ 02:19 PM

Topics discussed in this issue...                                            

  • Research suggests nutrient depletions from commonly prescribed drugs are actually the cause of many side effects
  • Study sheds light on how oleic acid improves immunity
  • Serine for arthritis?
  • CoQ10 shows potential as an anti-depressant
  • When it comes to colorectal cancer risk, cysteine = good, homocysteine = bad

Research suggests nutrient depletions fromprescribed drugs commonly prescribed drugs are actually the cause of many side effects - A recently published review details the enzymatic pathways that various drugs interrupt and how certain drugs deplete very specific nutrients. Nutrient depletions are implicated as a cause of common side effects and even non-compliance. 

 

oleic acidStudy sheds light on how oleic acid improves immunity - By affecting compounds released during an immune response, oleic acid quells inflammation and improves overall immunity. Specifically, oleic acid, abundant in olive oil, inhibits the production of several pro-inflammatory substances, such as Interleukin 2 (IL-2), natural killer cells (NK), interferon-gamma (INF-γ) and vascular cell adhesion molecules (VCAM). Oleic acid also reduces the amount of arachidonic acid (AA) present in cells, which in turn minimizes pro-inflammatory cytokine production.


arthritisSerine for arthritis? - Human cells from rheumatoid arthritis patients were exposed to phosphatidylserine and then evaluated for levels of inflammation.  The phosphatidylserine significantly lowered inflammation levels in vitro.  The same researchers tested phosphatidylserine’s effect on arthritic pain in an animal model and found that phosphatidylserine, which has well-established roles in neurotransmitter function, also decreased arthritic and pain symptoms.

 

CoQ10

CoQ10 shows potential as an anti-depressant - Four different doses of CoQ10 were administered for three weeks in an animal study on depression caused by chronic stress.  Depressive behaviors evaluated as were physiological markers of oxidative stress in the brain. Depressive symptoms were decreased and there was a dose-dependent reduction in damaging chemicals in the brain that are linked with depression. The authors concluded “CoQ10 may have a potential therapeutic value for the management of depressive disorders.”


cysteineWhen it comes to colorectal cancer risk, cysteine = good, homocysteine = bad. - In this clinical trial, levels of the toxic amino acid homocysteine and levels of the beneficial antioxidant cysteine were measured in over 900 women with colorectal cancer and compared to a similar group of over 900 women without cancer.   Those with the highest homocysteine (over 9.85 μmol/L) were 1.5 times more likely to have colorectal cancer than those with the lowest levels (>6.74 μmol/L).  Conversely, women with the highest levels of cysteine in the blood had a much lower risk of colorectal cancer than those with the lowest levels of cysteine.

 
For the complete article with journal abstracts,
full text and flyers click here

Topics: SpectraCell, serine, micronutrients, micronutrient testing, Homocysteine, Coenzyme Q10, Oleic Acid, Arthritis, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Asparagine, Cysteine, Antidepressants, Cancer, Autoimmunity, cancer cells, autoimmune diseases

Nutritional Considerations of Diabetes

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Feb 06, 2012 @ 11:57 AM

DiabetesUNDERSTANDING DIABETES

According to the American Diabetes Association, type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. With this type of diabetes, cells do not receive enough insulin. As a result, cells starve for energy, and, over time, a glucose buildup in the blood stream causes negative effects on a person’s eyes, kidneys, nerves and/or heart.

Today’s fast-paced society has led to quicker, higher carbohydrate alternatives as food sources. As a result, there is a greater threat of developing diabetes due to cells becoming insulin-resistant.

Micronutrients such as niacin, magnesium, calcium, zinc, carnitine, inositol, alpha-lipoic acid, as well as vitamins E, B6 and D all play an important role in the prevention and treatment of diabetes.

Though diabetes is a serious disease - with the right treatment - living a longer, healthier life can be made easier.

THE ROLE OF MICRONUTRIENTS IN DIABETIC HEALTH

NIACIN
Niacin (nicotinamide) may help to preserve residual B-cell function in individuals with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. This B-vitamin is believed to be one of the components of the glucose tolerance factor (GTF).

MAGNESIUM
This mineral is involved in more than 300 enzymatic functions in the body. Magnesium deficiency has been associated with insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia and hypertension, which have all been associated with diabetes mellitus. Magnesium has been found to be one of the more common micronutrient deficiencies in diabetes.

VITAMIN E
Low levels of vitamin E are associated with increased incidences of diabetes. Research suggests that individuals with diabetes mellitus have decreased levels of antioxidants. Increased antioxidant requirements may be a result of increased free radical production during periods of hyperglycemia.

ALPHA-LIPOIC ACID (THIOCTIC ACID)
This antioxidant has been shown to regenerate other antioxidants such as glutathione, vitamin E and vitamin C. Alpha-lipoic acid has been shown to enhance glucose uptake in skeletal muscle tissue, thus improving glucose regulation in diabetic mellitus individuals. In addition, this antioxidant can be beneficial in the treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy.

VITAMIN D
Obesity is often associated with vitamin D deficiency and also with type 2 diabetes. Research indicates that diabetic individuals (both type 1 and type 2) have a higher risk for bone fracture. This vitamin deficiency has clearly been associated with lower bone density. Subjects with hypovitaminosis D are at higher risk of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

CHROMIUM
This trace mineral is fundamental in proper insulin function and is believed to facilitate the attachment of insulin to the cell’s insulin receptors. A lack of chromium can lead to insulin resistance, which leads to elevated blood levels of insulin and glucose. Elevated levels of glucose in the blood can lead to diabetes and cardiovascular complications. Food processing
removes most of naturally occurring chromium. However, chromium can be supplemented or found in brewer’s yeast, nuts, meat, whole grains, green beans and broccoli.

HOMOCYSTEINE
Homocysteine elevation is a risk factor for overall mortality in type 2 diabetic individuals independent of other risk factors. Adequate levels of pyroxidine (vitamin B6), folate and vitamin B12 are required for normal homocysteine metabolism.

MicronutrientsINOSITOL
This nutrient is found in high concentrations in peripheral nerves. There is some evidence that inositol may be effective in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy.

VITAMIN B6
Research shows that a deficiency of vitamin B6 may result in abnormal glucose tolerance, degeneration of the pancreatic beta cells, reduced insulin response to glucose and reduced serum and pancreatic insulin levels. In addition, vitamin B6 deficiency has been associated with polyneuropathies.

CALCIUM
Studies have shown that individuals with a low intake of calcium have an increased risk of non-insulin dependant diabetes mellitus. Numerous studies have also revealed that diabetes may be associated with abnormal regulation of intracellular calcium.

ZINC
This mineral has been associated with over 200 enzymatic functions in the body. Increased fasting blood glucose levels have been associated with low zinc. Zinc has been shown to be important in the synthesis, storage and secretion of insulin. Increased urinary zinc excretion has also been associated with diabetic individuals.

CARNITINE
This amino acid in the form of acetyl-L-carnitine has been shown to benefit those individuals with diabetic polyneuropathy. One of the proposed mechanisms is that this amino acid may restore the depleted nerve myoinositol content and decrease free radical production.

Topics: Homocysteine, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, diabetes, Calcium, inositol, Chromium, Niacin

The Role of Micronutrients in Cognitive Function

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Aug 05, 2011 @ 09:55 AM

Cognitive FunctionALPHA LIPOIC ACID – This nutrient protects against the neuronal injury that occurs in the presence of toxic proteins found in brain tissue of Alzheimer’s patients. Research clearly indicates that lipoic acid is a potent neuroprotective antioxidant which strengthens memory and stimulates nerve growth.

B VITAMINS – Folate, Vitamin B6 and B12 are important in methylation processes. Deficiencies in one of these vitamins can raise homocysteine levels which is linked to increased Alzheimer’s risk. Vitamin B1 protects against mitochondrial dysfunction that causes dementia. B12 improves frontal lobe functions such as language, especially in the elderly.

CARNITINE – The amino acid carnitine has potent antioxidant properties. Its role in the transport of fatty acids to the mitochondria explains its beneficial effects on fatigue, which include both physical and mental fatigue. Several trials have demonstrated a consistent improvement in memory, focus and cognition with carnitine supplementation.

CHOLINE – Another member of the B-complex, choline is the precursor molecule for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is intimately involved in memory. Choline deficiency can induce mitochondrial dysfunction in the brain that clinically presents as cognitive impairment.

CHROMIUM – In a placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, chromium supplementation for twelve weeks enhanced cerebral function in older adults, possibly as a downstream effect of improved glucose disposal in patients with insulin resistance.

COPPER – Intracellular copper deficiency increases the formation of amyloid deposits in the brain. Specifically, copper accumulates in amyloid plaques while remaining deficient in neighboring brain cells indicating that copper deficiency is a plausible cause of Alzheimer’s.

GLUTATHIONE – This antioxidant is used up faster in brain tissue in the presence of choline deficiency.

GLUTAMINE and ASPARAGINE – Both act as neurotransmitters in the brain.

INOSITOL – A member of the B-complex of vitamins, inositol regulates cell membrane transport, thus explaining its key interaction with several hormone and regulatory functions. Research suggests it can protect against the formation of abnormally folded toxic proteins seen in Alzhiemer’s patients. Inositol treatment also has beneficial effects on depression and anxiety.

OLEIC ACID – This fatty acid found primarily in olive oil and is the precursor to oleamide, which interacts with several neurotransmitters and has demonstrated anti-depressant like properties. Oleic acid also facilitates absorption of vitamin A into cells.

SERINE – This amino acid is the major component of phosphatidylserine, an integral part of cell membranes in the brain. Phosphatidylserine increases the release of several neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine and epinephrine, thus improving the rate at which mental processes occur, without the hyperactivity or compulsive behavior that often occurs with drugs that stimulate a single neurotransmitter.

VITAMIN A – In the Physician’s Health Study II, vitamin A supplementation (50mg) improved cognition and verbal memory in men. Short term (1 year) effects of cognitive function were not seen, but significant benefit occurred in those on long-term treatment (18 years.)

VITAMIN C – Next to adrenal glands, nerve endings contain the highest levels of vitamin C in the body. High intakes of vitamin C are associated with lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

VITAMIN E – In addition to antioxidative properties, vitamin E reduces death to cells in the hippocampus and protects brain from glutamate toxicity. High dietary intake of vitamin E may lower Alzheimer’s risk.

ZINC – Low functional status of zinc is linked to negative alterations of the immune-inflammatory system, which can cause depression, impair learning and memory and a reduce neurogenesis. Zinc also regulates synaptic plasticity.

Additional nutrients tested by SpectraCell’s Micronutrient Test – BIOTIN, CALCIUM, COENZYME Q10, CYSTEINE, MAGNESIUM, SELENIUM, VITAMINS B2, B3, B5, D, K and SPECTROX™ (a measure of total antioxidant function)

 

 

Topics: serine, micronutrient testing, Oleic Acid, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Asparagine, zinc, Carnitine, Choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, B Vitamins, Copper, inositol, Glutamine, Glutathione, Chromium

Turn on Your Metabolism with Micronutrient Testing

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Jun 01, 2011 @ 09:32 AM

Guest Blog by Arland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN

Did you know that nutrient testing can help you zero in on some of the possible reasons that your metabolism may not be functioning optimally?  Nutrient deficiencies act as blockades to normal metabolic function.  The systems and pathways dependent on those nutrients which are found to be deficient are not able to function at an ideal rate.  As such the potential for symptoms such as increased weight gain, difficulty gaining muscle and fatigue, just to name a few may develop.

Some of the more common ways in which metabolism can be affected include the inability to properly process our macronutrients, or proteins, fats and carbohydrates, through the energy production pathways, and inability to manage glucose.

Energy is not just a subjective feeling about the way you feel when you wake up in the morning or throughout the day. Energy molecules, specifically known as ATP, are used by all cells of the body to carry out their needs.  This includes the cells of the immune system having the ability to immune challenges and the cells of the liver breaking down toxins to highlight a few.  The energy production cycles depend on multiple nutrients, but most noted are the B vitamins, specifically the lower B vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B5.  For fats, carbohydrates, or proteins to go from the food that we eat to the ability to do work, they must be ultimately broken down and guided through pathways that rely on the aforementioned nutrients.  However, these are not the only nutrients that take part in the energy production process.  Lipoic acid, magnesium and coenzyme Q10 are also needed.

Another potential area that may affect metabolic function includes the inability to regulate glucose.  This can be misleading at times as glucose is typically the marker that is focused upon.  The body tries to regulate glucose tightly, often at the expense of other markers increasing such as insulin and triglycerides.  However, nutrient deficiencies such as vitamin D, zinc, chromium and SpectraCell’s novel glucose-insulin interaction marker may be early indicators of the need to take action prior to waiting for glucose levels to go awry.

While nutrient deficiencies may not be the only cause for dysfunction of the above mentioned areas, it often plays a role that should at least be investigated.

Dr. Arland HillArland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN - Complete Care Chiropractic and Wellness

For more information about Dr. Hill, please visit his website or his blog. Or, contact him at 281-557-7200.



Topics: SpectraCell, Coenzyme Q10, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, zinc, Vitamin D, Magnesium, B Vitamins, Fatigue, nutrition testing, Glucose Intolerance, deficiency, Chromium, Weight Gain, Energy, Metabolism

'Nutrient Deficiencies Say More than Just the Absence of a Nutrient' by Dr. Arland Hill

Posted by Tara Stepan on Thu, May 12, 2011 @ 10:35 AM

 

Dr. Arland HillMicronutrient testing can be a real asset to the practicing clinician trying to help restore basic metabolic needs of their patients.  After all, nutrients power the various metabolic processes.  Without their availability, metabolic function is slowed or in some cases even brought to a stand still depending on the level of the nutrient deficiency.  Research has shown that over time, lack of nutrients can be lead to dysfunction and ultimately disease states.  Sometimes just restoring a single nutrient deficiency can have profound impact on the health of the patient and really help turn a corner, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

The true utility of SpectraCell’s micronutrient testing lies not in the analysis of individual nutrient deficiencies, but rather in the concept of observing patterns of nutrient deficiencies.  This is not to say that looking at individual nutrient deficiencies is not valid, but rather is an emphasis on the idea that with pattern identification, one can better have an idea of where to focus attention.

To better understand this concept, it is ideal to take a clinical scenario that may present.  Let us look at dysglycemia, or blood glucose dysregulation.  Those dealing with this condition are a fast growing segment of the population.  Yet these individuals don’t just manifest dyslglycemia overnight.  Rather they transition through a continuum that often begins with symptomatic reactive hypoglycemia, leading on to insulin resistance and ultimately diabetes if left untreated.  What if you had a method to tell your patients that they were in this pattern and that by addressing some of their nutrient deficiencies, you could help delay or even prevent the onset of dysglycemia.  A micronutrient test showing a nutrient pattern of nutrient deficiencies including B3, zinc, chromium, alpha lipoic acid and of course glucose-insulin interaction would suggest this very thing.

This is just one example, but it illustrates the breadth of information contained in the reports of the micronutrient test.  The reports provided by SpectraCell are not just a window into the intracellular health of the patient, but a tool with predictive abilities when appropriately assessed.  Noting the patterns within the test moves beyond the notion of just nutrient restoration, but allows one to see systems that must be supported to regain complete health and wellness.

Arland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN                                                                 Complete Care Chiropractic and Wellness

 

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, zinc, B Vitamins, wellness, Nutrition, diabetes, Glucose Intolerance, health, Chromium, metabolic processes, Dysglycemia, Blood Glucose Dysregulation

SpectraCell Partners with Gluten Free Works

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Apr 21, 2011 @ 03:48 PM

Hand and HealthSpectraCell has recently partnered with Gluten Free Works who is “Helping people get well, look good and stay healthy living gluten free.” ™

Gluten Free Works® helps you understand your food, your diet and your digestion. They show you what causes health problems and how to treat them naturally. One of the tools that they suggest is nutritional testing.  They believe that the key to good health for those with gluten sensitivity and/or celiac disease is a gluten-free lifestyle.

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is characterized by the inability to tolerate gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. When gluten is ingested by a person with celiac disease, an allergic reaction follows that causes serious damage to the intestinal wall, ultimately creating malabsorption issues and a host of cascading health problems. Some estimate that celiac disease is prevalent in over 2% of the general population.

I take a Multi-Vitamin and Eat a Gluten Free Diet.  Isn’t that Enough?

Multi-VitaminThe simple answer is no. Just as every person is different, the “normal” amount of each micronutrient varies from person to person, and even in the same person depending on circumstances in his or her life.  We are all biochemically unique, and several factors affect personal micronutrient needs – age, lifestyle, metabolism, prescription drug usage, past and present illnesses, absorption rate, genetics and more.

Especially in the case of celiac disease, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed, comprehensive nutritional testing is super important.  Celiac patients are notoriously at higher risk for nutrient deficiencies, largely due to malabsorption issues.  But when it comes to supplements, the “more is better” philosophy is just plain wrong.  Balance is key. SpectraCell’s Micronutrient test is the answer.

SpectraCell’s Micronutrient Test measures 33 vitamins and minerals in your body.  But the SpectraCell test goes even further – it measures functional, long-term levels within the cell, which means SpectraCell’s Micronutrient Test evaluates how well your body actually utilizes each nutrient.  Your body may need more of a nutrient than someone else, or perhaps your body lacks the coenzymes needed to transport it, or perhaps it is not absorbed properly after ingestion.  That is why an individual assessment of your nutritional status is important.

True healing begins with your body’s foundation – micronutrients – the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body needs to function optimally every day and over a lifetime.

Predisposition to Nutritional Deficiencies

Researchers followed a group of celiac patients who were on a gluten-free diet for 10 years and they found that half of the adult celiac patients showed signs of poor vitamin status. Since production of digestive enzymes is generally less efficient in celiac patients, absorption of nutrients from food is compromised.  

Antioxidant Status of Celiac Patients

Intestinal inflammation, so commonly seen in celiac patients, creates oxidative stress and as a result, the antioxidant status of celiac patients is significantly reduced, mostly by a depletion of glutathione, considered by many the most potent antioxidant in our bodies. In addition, levels of other antioxidants such as cysteine and vitamin C will affect glutathione status.  You can see how measuring a single nutrient only gives a small piece of the metabolic puzzle.

Fortunately, SpectraCell’s micronutrient test also gives your SpectroxTM score, which is a measurement of your Total Antioxidant Function. In short, it measures how well your cells stand up to oxidative stress.  SpectraCell’s micronutrient test also measures the function of several powerful antioxidants such as lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10 and vitamin E.  Even a single deficiency can negatively affect your SpectroxTM score.  Since oxidative stress is an important factor in the pathogenesis of celiac disease, raising your SpectroxTM score is important.

A Special Role for Glutamine

One hallmark of celiac patients is that they tend to have damage in the lining of their small intestine.  This damage increases the permeability of the walls of their digestive tract, allowing normally benign substances into the bloodstream, where they are no longer treated as harmless.  An allergenic, or autoimmune, response follows wreaking havoc throughout the body. Glutamine is an amino acid that is particularly effective in mitigating this dangerous cascade of events starting in the gut. Deprivation of glutamine results in increased intestinal permeability since glutamine helps to form tight junctions between cells of the delicate intestinal wall.

NeurologyNeurological Problems Stem from Nutrient Deficiencies

Researchers estimate that 11-41% of celiac patients have vitamin B12 defiency, which impairs function of the nervous systems.  In fact, resolution of vitamin B12 deficiency will in many cases resolve neurological problems associated with celiac disease. Similarly, a deficiency in copper will often manifest as neurological problems or anemia in celiac patients.  In fact, some researchers suggest that celiac disease should be considered  in patients with copper deficiency, even if there are no gastrointestinal problems.

Folate Deficiency

Celiac patients are at higher risk of B vitamin deficiencies, specifically folate. There are several reasons for this. First, the primary transporter of folate into our bloodstream is found on the tips of the finger-like projections in the intestinal wall called villi. Since intestingal damage (called atrophy) is so common in celiac patients, the process of absorption of nutrients, and especially folate, is severely impaired. Second, the pH of the stomach affects folic acid absorption. The higher the pH, the lower the absorption of folic acid, which is the case in celiac patients. Third, many medications used in inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract are known to be folate depleting.

Bone Building Nutrients for Celiac Patients

Compromised bone health is often an unfortunate consequence of celiac disease largely because a much higher percentage of children with celiac are deficient in magnesium, calcium and vitamin D compared to children without celiac.  These nutrients work together in many ways.  For example, when there is sufficient vitamin D, 30-40% of intestinal calcium can be absorbed but in the presence of vitamin D deficiency, only 15% of calcium is absorbed, leading to poor bone health among other things. It is easy to see how correcting even a single nutrient deficiency can indirectly help the status of another.  

Depletion of Minerals

The impact of mineral deficiencies is extremely broad.  For example, zinc deficiency compromises the immune system and is implicated in many skin disorders, which often accompany celiac disease.  In a recent study on children with celiac disease, it was found that zinc  levels were up to 30% lower in children with untreated celiac, and that over 50% of patients with celiac have low zinc levels. Selenium deficiency is also common in celiac patients.  Since thyroid is particularly sensitive to selenium, a deficiency in this mineral, which also serves as a powerful antioxidant, can contribute thyroid dysfunction.

Fatigue in Celiac – Corrected with Supplementation

Fatigue is a very common symptom of celiac disease.  Although several nutrients contribute to energy production (such as B vitamins and chromium, for example), the relatively unknown amino acid carntine is intimately involved in energy production and particularly effective in reducing fatigue.  Interestingly, levels of carnitine are lower in celiac patients.  In fact, one study showed that fatigue was significantly reduced in a group of celiac patients when they were supplemented for six months with carnitine.

A Multi-Faceted Approach

Since so many nutrients are needed to keep our amazingly complex digestive, immune and other systems functioning properly, a comprehensive assessment of your nutritional status is key, especially indisorders like celiac disease where the risk of deficiency is particularly high.  The potential improvement of symptoms when even a single deficiency is corrected can often be quite dramatic.  

SpectraCell's micronutrient test evaluates how well your body absorbs and utilizes each of these nutrients.

Talk to your doctor about SpectraCell’s micronutrient test or order online from Gluten Free Works.

Gluten Free Works

SpectraCell Laboratories

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, Coenzyme Q10, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Cysteine, folate, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, B Vitamins, Folic Acid, Fatigue, Nutrition, immune system, Calcium, deficiency, Glutamine, Neurology, Diet, Minerals, Digestion, Inflammation, Gluten Sensitivity, Gluten-Free, Celiac Disease, Gluten Free Works

The Role of Micronutrients in Heart Disease

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Feb 11, 2011 @ 01:56 PM

Is Your Heart at Risk?

 

 

There is compelling evidence that deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are a major contributor to cardiovascular disease and its symptoms. Similarly, the use of many drugs in treating heart disease often lead to various nutrient deficiencies.

Micronutrients and High Blood Pressure:

High blood pressure can result in physical damage to thMicronutrients and High Blood Pressuree walls of our blood vessels. Although the causes of hypertension often overlap, micronutrient deficiencies can cause or worsen this condition. Several mineral deficiencies such as zinc, copper, calcium and magnesium have been linked to high blood pressure.

Research also suggests that a high level of oxidative stress eventually takes its toll on our arteries, ultimately causing hypertension. Several studies of coenzyme Q10 lowered blood pressure significantly. The antioxidant vitamins C and E help blood vessels maintain their flexibility, allowing them to easily dilate and contract. The powerful antioxidant lipoic acid reduces blood pressure by inhibiting inflammatory responses in the blood vessels. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to hypertension because it contributes to endothelial dysfunction, a condition where the lining of blood vessels cannot relax properly and secrete substances that promote inflammation of the blood vessel lining.

Prevent Arterial "Scarring":

Vitamin B6, B12, folate, serine and choline are all necessary to properly metabolize homocysteine and reduce the risk of arterial scarring. In fact, B-vitamin therapy has been an effective treatment for reducing heart disease and blood pressure.

Keeping the Heart Muscle StrongKeeping the Heart Muscle Strong:

The heart’s requirement for energy compared to other muscle tissues is incredibly high. Carnitine is an amino acid that facilitates the transport of fatty acids into heart cell mitochondria, thus helping the heart meet its strong demand for chemical energy. It also helps muscles, including the heart, recover from damage, such as from a heart attack. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is another key component in energy metabolism by helping the heart increase its pumping strength. Deficiencies of vitamin B1 have been found in patients with congestive heart failure, as long-term use of diuretic drugs, which are often prescribed to those patients, deplete the body’s storage of thiamine. Coenzyme Q10 is also required by cardiac tissue in large amounts to properly function. Statin drugs deplete the body of CoQ10, so deficiencies of CoQ10 in statin-users are particularly common.

Heart Disease is an Inflammatory Process:

Scientists now emphasize that heart disease is actually an inflammatory condition within the blood vessels. Inflammation and oxidative stress work together damaging arteries and impairing cardiac function. Several antioxidant nutrients minimize this inflammatory process.

Glutathione is the most potent intracellular antioxidant and actually helps to regenerate other antioxidants in the body. Cysteine, glutathione, B2, selenium, Vitamin E and Vitamin C work together to reduce oxidative stress throughout the entire cardiovascular system.

How Well Do Your Arteries Fight Oxidative Stress?:

An optimal antioxidant status is particularly important in the Preventing Atherosclerosisprevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke. Since many antioxidants work together synergistically, measuring a single antioxidant may not provide an accurate picture of total antioxidant function. SpectraCell’s SPECTROX™ score will provide a complete and accurate picture of the overall antioxidant status of patients.

Preventing Atherosclerosis:

One of the major culprits in heart attacks and stroke is the buildup of plaque within the arteries throughout the body. Lipoproteins become dangerous when they are oxidized, making them “sticky” and causing blockage of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Micronutrient deficiencies accelerate atherosclerosis. One study showed that oleic acid (found primarily in olive oil) reduces oxidative damage to lipoproteins. It also facilitates absorption of vitamin A in the gut, which is important because vitamin A is linked to lower levels of arterial plaque, primarily due to its antioxidant effect in protecting lipids from oxidation.

Vitamin K supplementation to deficient people slowed the progression of plaque formation in major arteries. Vitamin B3 (niacin) lowers blood cholesterol (fats in the blood), inhibits the oxidation of LDL, and is currently the most effective drug available for raising the heart-protective, good HDL cholesterol. One study on chemicals made from vitamin B5 (pantothenic acids) showed a decrease in blood triglycerides and cholesterol, and evidence suggests that vitamin E can even retard existing atherosclerosis. Another study showed that inositol, a member of the B vitamin family, decreases dangerous small, dense lipoproteins that easily penetrate blood vessel walls and cause atherosclerosis.

Preventing StrokePreventing Stroke:

A recent study on more than 20,000 people concluded that adequate vitamin C levels reduced risk of stroke by over 40%. Similar studies on calcium, magnesium, folate and biotin all concluded that adequate levels of these nutrients contribute to a reduction in the incidence of stroke.

Share with us your experience with the role micronutrients have played in heart disease with your patient population! Do you have a particular success?

Topics: serine, micronutrients, micronutrient testing, Coenzyme Q10, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, zinc, folate, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, B Vitamins, Copper, Antioxidants, Heart Disease, Vitamin K, Calcium, Triglycerides, biotin, inositol, Heart Attack, Glutathione, High Blood Pressure, Oxidative Stress, Spectrox, Stroke, Lipoprotein Particles, LDL and HDL